The Teachers voice is fading. The clink of chalices and murmured conversations add to the ever present feeling that He is getting farther from me...or me from Him. The room is warm and the soft glow of candlelight casts shadows on the faces around the table and the Passover implements. I'm here in flesh but my heart is far gone. His voice now just an echo of the symphony it used to be to me.
I ran after Him passionately in the early days. When He spoke I could hear the Kingdom of God in His vibrato. It drew me from my chosen path and set me on a journey of unexpected challenge and sacrifice. He spoke of the Kingdom of God. He defied the abusive religious leaders and gave us hope that we would finally see freedom from tyranny.
I was always first in line to hear what He said, to see what he did, to applaud the revolution. I was certain He would bring the long ago promised Kingdom to its rightful owners. It would be my greatest pleasure to see the Romans and our own synagogue leaders brought to ruin on their knees before us. We would avenge the injustice and finally set things right. He would lead the way.
His voice was strong then. I could hear it plainly and without doubt. It rang in my ears like the music of Heaven and I answered its call. I vowed to follow its tune and see the wonder of the New Jerusalem.
I was honored when He allowed me to be in charge of our resources given by the women of standing who believed in His vision. It gave me such a sense of power and belonging. He would destroy the authority that held us down and I would be there by His side managing the money and sharing the glory, despite what Peter and John thought.
But, slowly His voice began to fade. Ever so slightly at first. What would have been a clear directive was just a bit uncertain in my ears, and I was sure it was the cacophony of the crowds pulling and tugging on Him, determined to get their share....my share.
When He insisted on saying crazy things about drinking His blood and eating His flesh I wavered thinking,
"Am I following a madman?"
The burning within me for a Kingdom to be free in tampered down the doubts. Surely, He would, at the right time, rise up and take dominion over these fools who beat us down and rob us of our dignity. Surely, it would come to pass.
The seeds of hesitation were just that, seeds. I neither watered them or cast them in the fire. But, as we traveled around Judea and Samaria living under the stars and on mats in people's homes, the suspicion that He was never going to overthrow the authorities crept in and finally took hold. If He was not going to take these assets and use them to rule Jerusalem then what harm was there for me to dip in and meet a little of my own needs? Create a little of my own kingdom? He never suspected a thing. He continued to trust me and to let me handle the money.
But, the last straw came when that women emptied an alabaster jar of costly perfume over His head. And, He did not chastise her! She wasted something of great value that we could have sold to fill our coffers....and He said she would be rewarded for it! Where was my reward for squandering these last three years on a dream that He does not share? Where will our freedom come from now? And, will I never sit in the seat of honor among the people?
The candlelight in the room seems swallowed up by a seething darkness and I feel a chill that runs through me. I wonder at its source but cast off my concern. I have a job to do and I'm late as it is. I've been lost in my own thoughts but His hand in front of me brings me back to the room. The bread has been dipped and as He hands it to me our eyes meet. The others are looking at me with confusion and growing suspicion.
The Teacher's voice fades to silent. I have muted its music. I'm no longer His student.
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